Forever Forty, in an imitable style of weaving thoughts and memories in a colourful tapestry that can only be described as the exhilarating life of Colonel Vasanth Venugopal, captures his very essence.
Written with the intention of celebrating life, Forever Forty just does that. It draws the reader into his inner thoughts, whispers to his wife while being posted far away on cold, rugged, inhospitalble mountains, memories of events, the love for his marriage and family, and jousts with his friends. The book sleeve rightly says “a life lived well” as the inner pages take you on a journey from one story to another, staying true to his characteristic sense of humour and the inspiring personality he donned. Forever Forty follows a man who stayed true to himself and his love right from growing up in a loving household and a childhood filled with wonderful friends, to marrying the woman he loved, raising beautiful children, and honouring his service in the army right to the very end.
As wife of late Col. Vasanth Venugopal, Subhashini wanted to capture the thoughts and person of her husband – a reminiscent means to portray the man she shared her life with as he was seen by his family and friends. In her author’s note to Forever Forty, Subhashini says, “[the book] was meant to be a way of preserving his memories for “his two dear little fellows” as he fondly referred to our daughters”. Drawing on letters and stories from family and friends, Subhashini says, “this book is really authored by Vasanth himself and how fitting that is”.
Cousin to Col. Vasanth V, Veena was younger to the colonel by nine years, and recalls that throughout her childhood she hope to grow up quickly so as to converse with him as an equal. “He made the cleverest remarks, the most inventive jokes, and had this sharp, incisive wit that you just did not want to be the target of”, she says in her author’s note. And that witty style is most evident through Forever Forty. Veena reminisces that her cousin drew her to conversations and books that covered a wide range of issues, “It is ironic that the area in which Vasanth chose to enlighten me the least was the danger he put himself in every day of his life”. She wanted the world to know.
Vasanthatharatana Foundation for Art instituted the Col.Vasanth, AC Memorial Award for Excellence in Leadership to honour and motivate the best high school student. The award was distributed on 25th November 2013 at Christian High School, Udipi. The award went to Master Sachin Kumar and Ashwini. The event was attended by over 28 school friends of Col. Vasanth V.
Vasantharatna Foundation for Art instituted the Col. Vasanth, AC Memorial Award to honour and motivate the best NCC cadet in M.E.S. Degree College for his/her discipline, dedication and high standard of integrity. The Award was distributed at the MES Degree College Quadrangle, Bangalore on 15th August 2013, and was part of the college 67th Independence Day celebrations.